A 69- year old British expatriate has a new lease of life due to the successful procedure performed at Rashid Hospital to treat the patient’s diseased artery.
The patient, Dennis Clark, was suffering from a condition known as thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms-a potentially deadly enlargement of the main artery carrying blood from the heart to the body and vital organs.
Clark approached Rashid Hospital which is known for its highly specialised vascular surgery unit.
Dr Younis Kazim, head of vascular surgery at Rashid Hospital, said: “The patient approached us with a condition in which his main artery had expanded significantly and his condition was critical. Normally, the main artery is 20 to 30 mm in width, his was 80 mm, in such cases the chances of the artery erupting are high and that leads to immediate death.
“The latest treatment in such cases is to use a stent graft to replace the diseased aorta through a minimally invasive procedure as opposed to conventional open surgery that has a high risk of mortality and complications. While Rashid Hospital has conducted such cases in the past, this case was unique, and is the first-in-the-region because we custom designed the new aorta according to the patient’s anatomy.”
Dr Ayman Al Sibaie, Consultant interventional radiologist at Rashid Hospital, said: “Using CT scans, a 3D model was made of his aorta, and was sent to a US company that manufactured a new aorta keeping in mind the patient’s anatomy. The aorta has four custom- placed branches for the various critical vessels that supply blood to the kidneys, liver, intestines and other organs, allowing for a precise fit. It was assembled during the procedure. Any error in placing the stent graft can lead to mortality and therefore absolute precision is needed for this procedure.”
Dr Al Sibaie said instead of the conventional open surgery procedure, the customer-made aorta known as ‘fenestrated stent graft’ is inserted in the body through the groin. ” Using fluoroscopy guidance, the new aorta was implanted, we diverted the blood flood flow from the diseased aorta to the new device. The diseased aorta shrunk back to its regular size but is of no use and the new aorta fulfills the function of providing blood flow to vital body organs.”
He added, “Treatment of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms, complex aneurysms that spans across both the thoracic aorta in the chest and the abdominal aorta, usually consists of open surgery, which carries a significant risk of death because of the complexity of the operation. In addition, many patients undergoing this surgery are elderly and may have other medical conditions, making the option of surgery highly risky or not possible at all. Moreover, recovery time is reduced from one and a half month post-hospitalization to one week.
Al Sibaie said: “Three days after the procedure, the patient was discharged, he walked out of the hospital and can continue to lead a normal life.”